Lessons in Motherhood | Southern Indiana & Louisville Family Photographer
It's been a little over a year since this boy made me a mama. This past year has taught me more about myself than all my years combined. I'm finding that motherhood has a way of uncovering your greatest strengths - things you never thought you could possible do - but it also has a way of bringing your weaknesses to the surface.
Before having Blaine, my weaknesses bothered me. I wanted to cover them up and act like they didn't exist, or I thought about them so much it gave me anxiety and left me feeling inadequate. But now - I'm starting to understand that my weaknesses aren't a bad thing. If I never messed up or struggled, I wouldn't realize how much I needed Jesus in order to overcome whatever it is I'm facing, whether it be an internal or external battle. When we are honest with ourselves and recognize areas in our lives in which we need help, and when we hand it over to God, He is able to do what we cannot. This has by far been the greatest lesson in motherhood for me to date. How many days have I been left feeling like I fell short, whether it be as a mom or wife or in my business - too many times to count. But when I turn those thoughts and challenges over to God, He helps me see that He has set me on this specific path, right now, for a reason, and that He's given me all I need to do the job well. And whatever life throws at me today I can endure, when I lean on Him. Each day holds lessons and blessings, and when we keep our eyes open for them we learn and grow. We can catch glimpses of God in our everyday, and sometimes that's all we need to get by because it helps you realize that you're not alone and this place we're at has beauty, when we're open to seeing it. He sets people along our path to help (and helps you realize it's okay to need it), to support, encourage and love. He may speak to you in a sweet moment with your child or a loved one, through a song lyric or a pretty sunrise. He's around, if you look, and He wants nothing more than to breathe new life, wisdom and strength within us, if we are willing to seek Him.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9
I've been going through an eleven week devotional for mothers, and I'm learning the importance of lifting our children up in prayer. I'm also learning the importance and impact that my relationship with God will have on my child. Just recently, this quote struck me -
"From our lips our children will learn their first truths about God, and from our actions they will observe what it means to follow Him."
Hmm.. It's had me thinking. As a teacher, I was taught to plan by backward design - first determining your goals and what you want your students to master, then planning your instruction in order to best reach those goals. So I think now... What kind of man do I want my son to become one day, and how can I best help him get there? I can see the heart I hope he develops and the type of love I pray he pours out to those around him. In the end, I want him to live a life he can be proud of, not only because of his accomplishments but because of the positive impact he had on others.
As parents, we all want hopeful and triumphant outcomes for our children. So how do we help get them there? What should our instruction over the years look like? How do we live, day by day, so that we can help mold and grow the little hearts that we've been given the responsibility for? Our words and actions have a profound impact on our children. They will learn more from our example and what they see in us than we will ever know. And in a world that will be fighting hard to win our children over, we have to be intentional and purposeful in who WE decide to be, and I'm not talking just as a parent. So I pray that God lead me each day as I try to be my best for our little guy. That He give me the strength when I'm tired and words when I'm not sure what to say. And more than anything, that He fill me with the characteristics needed to be a good example for this boy, so that he may grow into a man that isn't afraid to chase after God's plans and will for his life rather than allowing the world to conform his thinking.
And these are also the prayers I pray for you, friend. And I pray that you don't allow your weaknesses to make you feel less worthy or valuable as a mother or woman. I pray that you hand them over to God and allow Him to transform your heart and your thinking so that you realize how strong and capable you are. I pray that you see that you're never alone, and this path that you're on this very second has purpose. Yes, it all has meaning and you are serving in a faithful way that makes God so proud. The job you are doing is sacred, don't forget it. I pray that God fills you up each day with His spirit, strength, and all that you need to do the task in front of you well. Somedays you may not feel like you did a great job, and that's okay. God doesn't call us to be perfect, he calls us to be faithful and to not give up. And as we make the decision, day in and day out, to love our loved ones fiercely and be an example of what it means to follow Christ, we will raise children that turn into little adults that aren't pulled towards the lies of the world, but rather will fix their eyes on God, His promises, and the plans He has for them. Because He does already have a plan for our little ones, and we're in the best position to help those perfect plans come to fruition.
So wherever you're at in life and whatever it is you're going through... I hope you can enjoy today and all that it brings - the blessings and lessons, hardships and tears, the joy and laughter. It all has purpose and you're right where God wants you to be, for the time being. Let's stay faithful in the tasks we've been given and lean on Him, and we will continue to grow into the women God created us to be.